D&D 5E How should hit points be gained? [5E specific]

How should hit points be gained?

  • Roll for every level, including first

    Votes: 6 6.3%
  • Max at first level, then roll each level afterward

    Votes: 17 17.9%
  • Max at first level, then the average at every level

    Votes: 45 47.4%
  • Max at all levels

    Votes: 10 10.5%
  • The average at all levels

    Votes: 3 3.2%
  • Something else

    Votes: 14 14.7%

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We have max at 1st level and roll thereafter. I do give half rounded down if you roll bad, so a wizard cannot get less than 3 and fighter less than 5.

I do like the idea of advantage on the roll, kind of what @billd91 was saying, or the player rolls one and the DM rolls a secret one that the player can choose if they do not want theirs. I would let the player roll one in a cup turned upside down as the secret one.


Rolling is obnoxious and unnecessary, max at 1st level is a sensible mitigation of low level weakness, but I don't have a strong preference for max or average thereafter. Either is a fine enough balance point.


Mod Squad
Staff member
There is no single "should". I find this to be an excellent place for a lever to make the kind of game you want to play.

I tend to avoid schemes that allow one player to roll max several levels in a row, while another rolls the minimum each time. The hit point gap gets kind of ugly.
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Personally, I prefer taking the average every level. It makes the math just a bit easier, and I don’t get crabby about a bad hit-die roll on my last level-up.

If others prefer the randomness of rolling, that’s fine, too. I’ve got no fight with you.

I am intrigued by “reroll all your hit dice every level” method, that @ezo mentioned above. I’d like to try that out at a table some day.

It's worth noting that a lot of 5e DMs may have monsters cast attack spells without adjusting the damage dice (they're balanced for players using them against monsters instead of the other way around), which can result in a skewed perspective of player hit point values.


At Level Up: Reroll all your accumulated Hit Dice. If the total is greater than your current (prior to level up) hit points, you have the new hit points. Otherwise, you keep your prior total.
I really like this idea, but I've never tried it. The big problem with rolling hit points is that, by RAW, you never really do so enough times for the law of averages to kick in until you get to very high levels. If you do it this way, you've rolled more dice for hit points by 6th level than you would in a RAW 1-20 campaign.

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